Wednesday, April 05, 2006

What's Wrong With Democrats For McCloskey

As you probably know, this site’s VPO has endorsed Pete McCloskey in CD-11 and suggested that Democrats re-register for the primary as Decline To State so that they can pull a Republican ballot and vote early and often against Richard Pombo. In this spirit, he recently forwarded an email to the VotePomboOut group which was authored by Peggy Rubin of the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club extolling Pete McCloskey’s virtues. Now, it’s a free country and VPO has the right to register and vote his conscience. But the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club is chartered by the Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee and, as such, is an adjunct of the Democratic Party supposedly dedicated to building the party’s base throughout the county.

So why does it matter if Democrats in CD-11 support a movement to switch registration just for the primary? Well, for one reason, it’s important to note that many progressive activists within the Democratic Party have seen the Congressional race in CD-11 as an opportunity to capitalize on widespread disgust with Richard Pombo and have dedicated themselves to expanding and solidifying a more unified infrastructure for the party, especially in areas such as San Joaquin County where Democrats have historically been weak. True, Pombo is terrible, but so are many, many other less notorious Republicans in the Central Valley. And without a viable Democratic Party presence in the Valley, the Republicans will continue to rule the roost. So it’s more than a little disheartening to see some people, instead of working to build a strong and vibrant Democratic Party in CD-11, decide that the solution is to abandon the party in support of a charismatic cult of personality.

Peggy Rubin put it this way:

In the 11th Congressional District, common sense tells the majority of voters that in order for Richard Pombo to be ousted from the House of Representatives, Moderate Republicans, Democrats, Independents, “Decline to Staters”, Environmentalists, et al, are going to have to forget the things that divide us and unite at the voting booths this year. One of the most exciting, and important voices preaching the gospel of “Hands across the aisle” is that of Pete McCloskey. Former congressman, attorney, and moderate Republican, Pete said at the Peace Rally in Walnut Creek last Saturday, “I came out of retirement to get Pombo out of office.”

I was inspired by that, and comments from my friend Margee Ensign, who is also a friend of McCloskey, inspired to invite the Honorable Pete McCloskey to be our speaker at the April 27th meeting of the SRVDC. McCloskey is enthusiastic about this effort to “reach across the aisle,” and join forces to take Pombo off the November ballot.

I’m writing to you now to get you, I hope, to invite your uncommitted friends, and the moderate Republicans you know, to set aside the date of April 27th for a historic event in this valley – a Republican candidate for office addressing a Democratic meeting. […]

Margee Ensign will come from Stockton and will urge others to join us. Do what you can to remind everyone that when we Americans face a challenge that affects us all, or our beloved land, we can and do set aside partisan differences to work together.


Well. I’ve seen Pete McCloskey speak on enough occasions to know that he WILL make his pitch at the meeting of the SRVDC for Democrats to re-register so that they can support his candidacy. In an interview with the Tracy Press, McCloskey made his agenda clear:

In the meantime, he thinks he’s got a strategy to beat Pombo. First, he’ll get out the word that Democrats and independents can still switch parties and vote him in.

“It’s called ‘decline to state,’ and it means that people who are registered Democrat or independent can still switch and register to vote in the Republican primary,” explained volunteer Tim Aden, a graduate student at the University of the Pacific.[…]

“We think we can get independents and Democrats to understand that Pombo is out of touch with voters in this community,” McCloskey said. […]

“I’d do anything for Pete McCloskey,” said volunteer Celeste Gore-Schreck, a first-cousin of former presidential candidate Al Gore. “He’s my kind of politics. This is the only time I’ve ever stepped out of party lines.”

McCloskey is hoping that others in the 11th District will follow suit and cross party lines, at least until after the Primary Election on June 6.

And you'd better believe that there are people who hate Pombo so much that they will happily relinquish their rights and responsibilities as Democrats to choose the candidate that their Democratic Party will put forward to challenge Pombo in November.

But let’s talk for a minute about what’s at stake in the other races in the Democratic primary. Of course, there’s the Gubernatorial race at the top of the State ticket with what promises to be a nail-biter between Phil Angelides and Steve Westly. At the Lieutenant Governor level, we have Democrats Liz Figueroa, Jackie Speier, and John Garamendi vying for the same spot. Then there’s the race for Secretary of State, an office that is critically important if you’re even a little worried about the integrity of our entire voting process. And with vacancies at Attorney General, Treasurer, State Controller, Insurance Commissioner, and even the State Board of Equalization, it is vital to nominate strong Democrats who can go on to win these important offices in November.

Then there’s the State Legislature. SD-10 (Pleasanton and Sunol) has a hotly contested three-way race between Ellen Corbett, John Dutra and Johan Klehs. AD-10 (Lodi and a portion of Stockton) has two Democrats, Jim Cook and Kevin Tate, running; AD-17 (Tracy and a portion of Stockton) has a two-way race between Cathleen Gagliani and William Sweet; AD-18 (Dublin and part of Pleasanton) has a real scorcher with the race between Mary Hayashi and Bill McCammon; and AD-20 (Sunol and part of Pleasanton) has a race between Alberto Torrico and Ken Nishimura. Democratic candidates are running unopposed in the primary in SD-14 (Lodi, Linden, and Escalon), AD-15 (Brentwood, Discovery Bay, Danville, San Ramon and part of Stockton), AD-26 (Manteca, Escalon, Ripon, Linden, and a portion of Stockton) and AD-27 (Morgan Hill).

So to re-cap, in the November general election the Democratic Party in CD-11 will not have just one candidate running for Congress, but candidates for virtually every position in our State government, from the entire executive branch down through two State Senators and seven State Assembly members. At a time when we desperately need to unite and build a party that can offer strong support to its chosen candidates, how could you possibly claim to be Democratic leader and simultaneously encourage Democrats to abandon their party?

36 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another excellent post by Matt. This should be forwarded to every Democratic leader in the district.

What Peggy Rubin is myopically doing is detrimental to progressive politics and the Democratic Party.

What a shame.

2:09 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Anon,

This was a post by Babaloo. We are different people. But I agree that the McCloskey Democrats are being strategically myopic. And I agree it was an excellent post. :)

2:23 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

VPO here, and I want to point out a glaring error in Babaloo's post. I (me, VPO) suggested that DTS people vote in the R primary for McCloskey. I also suggested that Democrats consider re-registering as DTS just for the primary so they also can vote directly against Pombo on June 6th.

However, Peggy Rubin has NOT endorsed this in any way. All she did was invite McCloskey to talk at the SRV club meeting. She DID NOT ever, as far as I know, suggest that anyone re-register.

If McCloskey speaks to the SRV club and encourages the audience to re-register, which is speculation by Babaloo, not fact, then I am sure people at the meeting can make up their own minds and decide themselves. But no one has any idea what McCloskey will actually say or do that night, and to base conclusions on something that has not happened yet, is preposterous.

Babaloo's post mixes what I said on my own with the invitation from Peggy for McCloskey to speak and with speculation about what McCloskey might say into one big jumbled mess.

Let me set things straight: there is NO OFFICIAL Democrat that I know of calling for Democrats to re-register. I did, but that was entirely on my own and I am not associated with any campaign or the Democratic party in any official capacity.

Also, let me state that the SRV Club certainly has a right to invite whomever they want to speak at their meetings. The speaker can say whatever he or she wants, but that does not mean it is the club's opinion or any one in the audience's opinion. No one has to act on anything the person says. And no one knows what the person will say anyway until he or she actually speaks.

Peggy is showing an open-mindedness and willingness to hear many viewpoints. She is not "myopic" as posters here claim. She is showing an "open tent" philosophy that is wonderful to see.

America was founded on Freedom of Speech and the "marketplace of ideas" where by hearing different opinions, it would help form your own and inspire the community as a whole to adopt the best ones. One thing we have lost with people like Pombo is a courteous debate of ideas to find the ones that will best benefit the society. Instead, we have highly partisan people staking out extreme, ideological positions and not willing to listen or consider other viewpoints.

I find Peggy's invitation to McCloskey visionary and heralding a new, cooperative era of local politics, where we reject the extreme element of each party and find a common middle ground that we can all live reasonably well with.

Part of that is all sides coming together in the common goal of getting rid of the extremist Pombo. Certainly, hearing McCloskey speak, whether he suggests re-registering or not (I doubt that he will), can only be beneficial to the effort to oust Pombo and will not in any way be damaging to the Democratic Party.

3:05 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

VPO --
Peggy Rubin's email message stated,
"McCloskey is enthusiastic about this effort to 'reach across the aisle,' and join forces to take Pombo off the November ballot."

Now, the only way that I know of for Pombo to be taken off the November ballot (short of having a Tom DeLay moment) is for McCloskey to beat him in the primary. And if McCloskey is "enthusiastic about this effort [his appearance at the SRVDC meeting] to 'reach across the aisle,' and join forces," to unseat Pombo in the primary, that can ONLY mean re-registering and/or volunteering time and/or money to his campaign. I'm sorry, I don't think that's speculation; it seems pretty obvious to me, especially in light of McCloskey's stated strategy of re-registering Democrats to vote for him.

3:53 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

I thought that this was a blog dedicated to "saying no to Pombo." It seems that it is a more like a blog dedicated to Democratic Party strategy. The two are connected, but not the same.

I would rather focus on getting Pombo out of office. While everyone here argues Filson vs. McNerney, DCCC vs. grassroots, Pombo is makeing hay with editorials, Op Eds, speeches, press realeases and gaining all sorts of attention that I don't see anyone combating.

Let me give you an example. On March 31, there was a post on PomboWatch that pointed out a connection between Sandra Day O'Connor's warning that this country was falling down the slippery slope into a dictatorshp and Richard Pombo's introduction of a bill that would have allowed Congress to override decisions of the Supreme Court. On April 4, Pombo introduced legislation to commission a bust of Chief Justice Rhenquist and place it in the Supreme Court Building. Then, he sent out a press release demonstrating just how much he supported the Supreme Court, of course with show and not with substance. I think that the connection between those two events is obvious.

And, did any of you life long Democrats ever think that the reason anyone may want to re-register to support McCloskey is that they are not satisfied with either Democratic Candidate, or that they are comfortable with the fact that McNerney has the race won and are willing to try to take both opportunities to know out Darth Pombo? Both of those make as much sense as the other speculations about someone else's motivations do.

Let's get the focus on knocking out Pombo and not on internal Democratic infighting. I, for one, am not a Democrat, have never been a Democrat, and have seen little that would make me want to join a group that likes to stand in a circle and play at fast draw target practice.

At least, I have had anti-Pombo letters or Op Ed pieces appear in 5 newspapers that are read in the district and have made sure that the editors of 4 others have had a chance to understand when they stepped over the line between reporting fact and having a POV.

If everyone reading this blog were doing the same, we just might be making an impression on a much larger audience.

5:55 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

VPO,

The San Ramon Democratic Club has the event listed on their calendar with the the heading "Why wait until November? Let's take Pombo out in June!" This just confirms what anyone with a brain could see when they invited McCloskey to speak at the club. And I agree with Babaloo that it's a myopic allocation of scarce Democratic Party resources to support McCloskey in the primary.

I think it's fine for people in their individual capacity to support whomever they would like. But it's just ridiculous for Democratic Party clubs to support McCloskey's efforts to co-opt Democrats in his fight against Pombo. The heading speaks to a very poor understanding of this race. McCloskey has no shot at winning and he'd have to turn out at least 10,000 new Decline to State voters to vote for him in order to come close to beating Pombo. I don't care if he's been putting out good press releases. The reality on the ground is that McCloskey has neither the message, the money, nor the popular support to win the GOP primary. And until someone can offer a compelling argument for why we ought to believe otherwise, the Democratic clubs ought to be focused on helping Democrats.

Furthermore, I don't care how dissatisfied the leadership of Democratic clubs are with candidates. You don't build the party by saying that a Republican candidate is more satisfying than the Democratic candidates. And that's certainly the case when said Republican is actively trying to lower Democratic registration in the district.

VPO and Delta, neither of you are Democrats. So stop trying to tell the Democrats what to do. I never have suggested that either of you get involved with Democratic Party politics. Please return the favor by not suggesting that those of us involved in Democratic Party politics are somehow insufficiently active in this race.

McCloskey, as he fully admitted until a couple months ago, is running a kamikaze campaign to damage Pombo in the primary so that the Democrats have a better shot in November. Anyone who buys the kabuki that he thinks he can win is just blind as far as I'm concerned.

And given that the real fight against Pombo will be in November, it makes a lot of sense to start organizing for that fight now. I'm sorry if we don't have enough LTEs for you guys. But this blog serves an organizing function for Democratic Party activists who care about this race. I know neither of you see it this way, but there's a reason why Democratic Party activists tell me that they like this blog. You guys don't have to find this aspect of it useful. That's fine, I'm not writing for you. I'm writing for them.

6:25 PM, April 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a point to remember here. If the San Ramon Club is a chartered Democratic club, they are restricted to supporting Democratic Candidates. I think that is as it should be. The clubs are supposed to be building up the Democratic Party, otherwise they wouldn't be a chartered Democratic Club. If you want to support McCloskey on your own that is fine but the Club is in jepordy of losing it's charter if it backs a non Democrat. The Party really needs to be built up so that it has candidates who can go up against the Pombos of this country and win. As wonderful a person as McCloskey is, he won't help the Democratic party regain control of Congress and keep the Republicans from ram roding their agenda down our throats. I think we have someone in the Democratic Party who can defeat Pombo and we should stick to that plan.

7:02 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I don't agree that it is a "myopic" allocation of scarce Democratic resources. The bottom line is a Dem candidate will win the primary. There is no question about that at all. There will be a Dem on the ballot no matter if only two people vote in the Dem primary. So why waste time with that? It will be Filson or McNerney, and both of them will need a Cinderella-makeover anyway to win the hand of the voters before the clock strikes midnight on Nov. 7.

I know it matters to you whether it is Filson or McNerney, and that is fine, but the reality is whoever wins is a long shot by far to beat Pombo. It will take the full cast of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" working overtime from June to November to turn their frog into a prince. So it really does not matter who it is, what matters is the PR crew and how much money the candidate can bring in. The race will be determined more by the quality of TV ads and their placement than who the candidate actually is. In other words, it is the media campaign that will win or lose this election, and the candidate is essentially just a smiling face to plug into the ads.

That's modern politics -- all show business, and frankly, both Dem candidates would have a hard time on the vaudeville circuit, let alone even a supporting part in a Broadway show. Yet they both are trying to win Oscars.

You want to know why Pete McCloskey is getting all the attention? It is called "celebrity". Why did Schwarzenegger, a basically clueless actor, become governor? "Celebrity". And money. That is how our society works, especially the media. Fame. And Money.

Maybe if Filson or McNerney had won American Idol or a big pot of money on Jeopardy or were in a movie or played professional sports -- something, anything, that would give them some fame, they would have a better chance. But in this case, it really does not make a sliver of difference who wins the primary, they both are unknown nobodies (nice guys, but like the rest of us, unknown).

So some of us are throwing our lot with McCloskey's quixotic campaign, for several reasons. One, a Dem will win anyway. Two, showing better numbers against Pombo will encourage people to donate to the Dem candidate (so therefore we are helping the Dems). Three, Pete stands for something and, like McNerney before him, is taking a brave stance against a powerful incumbent. Four, there will be plenty of time after the primary to build the Dem party and clubs and motivate for the race against Pombo in November (assuming McCloskey loses). All the focus, post-primary, will be on grooming the Dem candidate. Five, McCloskey attracts a lot of media attention to this campaign, thereby exposing Pombo. The media listens to McCloskey and that gives him a chance to get out the anti-Pombo message in ways the Dems just cannot at this point. Six, some of us are "balls to the walls" committed to getting rid of Pombo. I personally don't care if it is Tom Benigno, I just want the environmental rapist out of office and out of power. Whatever it takes. Call it streetfighting, but that is how the Rovians play it, not nice and gentle. "Nice" does not work, as demonstrated over the last decade or more where Republicans have steamrolled the Dems and now have a vise grip on power.

I fully agree with Delta, the hard work is investigating and building the case against Pombo and taking that to the public, by which, I really mean taking it to the media. To start to move the message, move the center, influence reporters, get stories on the news, etc.

This blog can serve Dem activists, and you all can discuss your concerns about the future of the party, that is fine. But my goal is Vote Pombo Out, not rescuing the Dem party, if that is even possible. I applaud your work in that regard. However, my VPO work is cooperating and organizing with others to work the media and provide them the facts and material needed for stories with the truth about Pombo's activities. To call the media on their half-truths and when they are spinning for Pombo. To ride herd on Pombo himself whenever he puts out a bogus press release or bullshit "scientific" report (quite often, actually).

So I won't try to persuade you and Babaloo and others. You can continue with your work with the Dem activists. I however am fully committed to seeing Pombo ousted from office, by whomever and whatever means it takes.

8:46 PM, April 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some interesting points here, but as a regular visitor to this site (from outside of CA) I am struck by the fact that almost every single post coming from Babaloo is negative in tone, structure, and content.

What do you stand FOR, Babaloo? You claim to be a Progressive, but are you really?

Your tactics are really no different than Tom Delays and the worst excesses of his party - all you do is rip people apart. You rip Filson, you rip McCloskey, you rip this Peggy Rubin, and you have nothing but contempt for the obviously thoughtful person who calls himself VPO.

I'd call you a Regressive Democrat, and if you typify the so-called progressive movement in Pombo's district, why we can look forward to 2 more years of this Dick. Thanks to the wake of destruction you are no doubt leaving in your wake.

Babaloo: In my opinion, you are a fool - you don't have a clue HOW TO BUILD COALITIONS TO WIN AN ELECTION. This is what its about, in case you haven't figured this out yet. (Are you over 18?)

You are by far the most hateful, nasty, vicious, and divisive poster to this site. Your goal seems to not be to get rid of Pombo BY CREATING A UNIFIED COALITION - instead you seem determined to rip the anti-Pombo coalition apart to suit your own hateful agenda. But you call that progressive, just like Bush calls his bullshit "Healthy Forests" and "Clear Skies."

I have one question: Can anyone confirm that this so-called Babaloo is not a Pombo operative?

Because if he/she is not, why this site had better do some serious soul-searching as to what is its purpose. And I'm sorry, but in my mind being progressive also means caring about the means that we achieve our goals as well as the ends. Babaloo doesn't seem to get this either.

You are poison Babaloo - toxic to those of us from all over the country who are rooting for the voters of this district to rise up, come together, and defeat Pombo. I have proudly contributed to both McNerney and McCloskey, but you give me considerable pause in wanting to make any further contributions to McNerney moving forward.

If there are McNerney campaign people reading this, I would like to know whether your campaign is all about ripping people apart while calling it "progressive." I would like to know whether Babaloo is an operative for your campaign or is associated with it in any way. Because if this is what you and the "progressives" backing McNerney are all about, count me out. I don't want to come to your party because Babaloo practices some of the ugliest politics I have ever seen.

9:25 PM, April 05, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. 2% of a buck again, and I hesitate to respond to the vitriol above, but I need to:

1) According to anon #3 (please, if you're going to be wearing a cloak of invisibility, please at least give yourself a unique alias like I do...get a clue!)

2) "Being progressive is not being pragmatic" -- someone alert Bob LaFollette about that since he founded the notion of "Progressive" ~ 100 years ago and pragmatism was DEFINITELY one of the precepts of that "religion"

3) The current Democratic candidates are HARDLY lighting up the sky with regard to the fundamentals needed to win a race for "county dog catcher", yet alone "Member of the US House of Representatives" due in large part to their campaign style, so it's little wonder those with a sense of what works in "retail politics" are drifting toward what McCloskey & Co. are doing as of late

4) This just in: McNerney took up my earlier challenge to openly do an early announcement about their Q1 fund-raising results -- so how about it, Chris Filson, er, "cf" and Robert Kellar, er "Rick" -- how'd Steverino do in Q1?

Show me the money.

$.02 out.

10:00 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Anon 3,

You're a fucking idiot. I know who Babaloo is and I know what she does. And you don't know what you're talking about. That's one.

Second, Babaloo doesn't represent McNerney or anyone but herself. To pull the McNerney card out of your hat is also idiotic. Jerry McNerney doesn't have a clue who Babaloo is so he couldn't stop her if he wanted to.

Thirdly, even if she is harsh, she has a point. If you think the Democrats can afford to allow the mechanisms of the Democratic Party within the district be co-opted by a Republican, you're crazy.

Fourth, if you think this is ugly politics, just wait until Pombo starts going after the eventual nominee. And if this is some of the ugliest politics you have ever seen then you obviously missed any of the politics of last couple of years when progressives have been labelled traitors, terrorist sympathizers, etc.

Politics is not beanbag. The San Ramon Democratic Club has pissed off a lot of people by inviting McCloskey. (I'll publish a response from a member of the SRVDC tomorrow in fairness). But nothing Babaloo said is unique to her. I've heard a lot of people utter similar things. Are they not allowed to be pissed off and criticize? Being a progressive doesn't mean that we have to suffer fools gladly. I'm sorry, but if you can't stand a spirited argument about the wisdom of inviting McCloskey, then you can't stand politics.

Lastly, I'm not going to allow any more accusations that anyone on this blog is somehow a Pombo plant. Any further comments in that vein will be summarily deleted.

11:47 PM, April 05, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Anon #3 --
I am only too happy to engage in substantive discussions about any of my posts. I notice that you have not questioned any of my facts, assertions or opinions, but have instead engaged in ugly personal attacks.

If, in the future, you wish to pursue a dialogue on the issues, you know where to find me.

2:22 AM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous fiat lux said...

If there's a "plant" in this thread, it's Anon 3. That screed against Babaloo barely qualified as unadulterated crap. It was that bad.

All mud. No facts. No substance. Just anonymized provocations seeking to pick an unnecessary fight -- what would be known as a "troll" in the blogosphere.

One popular method of dealing with trolls at Daily Kos is to post recipes in response. In fact, the tactic has become so popular, it even spawned the "Trollhouse Cookbook" ;-).

All that said, kudos to Matt for not suffering fools gladly (he obviously calls it as he sees it). Kudos to Babaloo for taking the high road by offering to engage a substantive dialogue.

This blog continues to be a rich resource of honest discussion on the race to defeat Pombo. Keep up the good work, everyone...

2:55 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I also am put off by the vitriol in anon #3's post. It is like a drive-by shooting. People can disagree, that is the point of the blogs (if we all agreed, what would there be to talk about?). But disagreeing can be done in a constructive way that involves dialogue and debate, not ranting and raving.

I have to say that this blog has been pretty good in that respect, with generally civilized discussions. But if you want to see the depths of depravity that message boards can sink to, check out Yahoo!'s sometime, especially with any controversial news article. It gets real bizarre, real fast there.

This blog has done very well, compared to that, and the discussion is, for the most part, quite courteous and respectful. Best just to ignore spewing like # 3 and move on.

7:07 AM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt, Babaloo:

I am Anon #3, and I'd like to respond to your responses.

Matt: You start out calling me a f&%$ing idiot. (BTW, another nice way to make friends and influence people.) And what did I do to deserve this? Not know who the anon person who calls him/herself Babaloo is. Now if you do, that's great. I'm happy for you. But not knowing an anonymous poster when one is an entire continent away hardly makes one a f&%$ing idiot - it makes the person hurling the term one.

Secondly, you call me an idiot again for "pulling the McNerney card out of my hat." Again, your logic defies all logic, as Babaloo is so obviously pro-McNerney that for one to NOT think this meands you have to be either asleep or in a drug-induced stupor. Again if you know this person and have inside info, great. But to call those of us who don't idiots is the pot calling the kettle black. Not to mention rude.

Third, you almost admit she's a bit harsh in this case, but you fail to acknowledge one of my fundamental points: she RIPS EVERYBODY APART ON THIS BLOG EXCEPT MCNERNEY. You my friend, suffer the same fundamental failing as Babaaloo: you simply fail to understand that winning elections is about BUILDING Coalitions, not tearing them apart. Now maybe your real purpose is not to win an election, but to make some kind of bullshit "progressive" staement that you can win a primary (but lose an election) and leave everyone but a few token progressives completely pissed off. If so, you're both doing a great job. But I am fed up with Pombo, which is why I have contributed to both McNerney and McCloskey. And while I confess I don't know all the details of McNerney's politics, McCloskey's progressivism leaves either of you two amateurs (and juveniles) in the dust.

Fourthly, I operate within the Beltway for a NGO/501c3 and have dealt with Delay/Pombo politics for more years than you have probably been on this planet. (Maybe I should call you a f&*%ing idiot because you didn't know this insider info, but I won't.) However, I noticed neither of you answered my "Are you over 18 question." Telling perhaps.

Then you dishonestly conclude your "response" by insinuating I can't stand a spirited argument about inviting a republican to a dem club. Wrong wrong wrong. That was not my argument at all, and twisting my piece to come to this conclusion is as faulty and phony as the rest of your response. My argument is/was that Babaloo does nothing but rip people apart: Filson, McCloskey, etc - all OPPONENTS of Pombo who you shoud be trying to UNITE not DIVIDE in order to WIN! It is you and Babaloo that are dishonest, failing to address this fundamental point or any of the others I raised.

Babaloo says "yeah, I'll engage you in dialog" but then doesn't. So please respond to the following questions, all raised in the previous post:

1. Why are you so angry and so seemingly determined to rip everyone who sees the world even slightly differently than you apart?

2. Do you know how to build coalitions, or is your purpose just another god-damn hollow moral fucking victory over the "establishment."

3. Are you over 18?

4. Are you associated with the McNerney campaign in any way shape or form? I noticed the VPO guy answered this openly and honestly - why didn't you?

Then someone who calls himself a Fiat but is logically a Renault makes the claim that I must be a troll, because I have the audacity to raise the argument (never addressed) that if you want to defeat Pombo than you must UNITE. Again, if this site is all about achieving hollow moral victories in dem primaries while leaving Pombo in power, fine, but be honest. Then call your blog "SYTDHP" - for Say Yes To Divisive Hateful Politics. Frankly, I've experienced more such "hollow victories" in my lifetime than you obviously inexperienced children will ever know.

Go back to your sandboxes and play. But try to be happy; maybe some cookies and milk will help in the short term. Over the long term, as you all grow up, you will come to understand that the world does not operate in the way you visualize it. This is reality - from one who was there long ago and who still fights every fucking day for progressive values at the very power center of this country. I need no lectures from people who obviously don't have a fucking clue, who instead call me a fucking idiot because I don't know who or what the fuck an angry bitter thing called a Babaloo is.

Enough wasted time here - some of us have real progressive work to do. It ain't happening here on this site.

7:12 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

Congrats to anon # 3 for having the courage to come back and expand on his/her remarks. We can call him/her a troll or whatever, but I think there are some points worth considering. Anon may have a raucous, assertive style, but looking at the content, there are some things to consider, mostly -- are we in this to DEFEAT Pombo or to argue about Democratic party?

Ignoring the rhetoric, anon makes a very good point that we need to build coalitions, not tear apart those committed to ousting Pombo. What I have noticed with Babaloo's posts is that they do tend to be aimed at tearing apart Filson, and now McCloskey. But what people want to hear is the good news -- why is Babaloo a McNerney supporter? what will McNerney do for the district? how does McNerney plan to win the primary and then general election? what is a good strategy for the district? how can we build coalitions and inspire supporters? what are the concerns of the district (Delta has been very good at posting about that)? etc.

Also, all this energy could be directed at digging into Pombo's nefarious activities, not whether Filson said the right or wrong thing at a talk. Sure, that has some value, but it should be balanced with attacks on Pombo -- he is the bad guy here.

Filson, McNerney, and McCloskey are actually all on OUR side, that is, against Pombo. I am supporting McCloskey now because he is attracting media attention to his message against Pombo. That will help the Dem in the general election, to have Pombo beaten up a bit by McCloskey. Also, the Dems can learn something from McCloskey about how to campaign and connect. But being FOR McCloskey in the primary is not being AGAINST the Dems. One of the Dems will win, no matter what.

What I am FOR is beating Pombo, and that probably should be a strong consideration when posting -- does this help defeat Pombo? That is my perspective, anyway, on this.

7:53 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Anon 3,

There was nothing in this post to warrant your reaction to Babaloo. To accuse her of similarities to Tom Delay, based only on her rather mild demand that Democratic groups support Democrats, is beyond the pale. And to also question her commitment to defeating Pombo is similarly unacceptable.

In retrospect, I do regret calling you a fucking idiot. And I want to apologize for it.

However, I do maintain that in this case you don't know what you are talking about. You're responding as if Babaloo's post is driving this deep wedge between otherwise happy coalition partners.

Instead, you need to understand that Babaloo is simply reacting to a division that already exists. I have heard a lot more forceful denunciations of Peggy Rubin's actions with respect to McCloskey than anything that has been said on this blog. And the fact that the divisions exist "out there" without respect to this blog (indeed before anyone on this blog even hinted at this issue), means that Babaloo is not responsible for them.

Lastly, you still seem to miss the point about "the McNerney card." My point was not to assert that that Babaloo is not a McNerney supporter -- she obviously does support him and has never denied that. The point is that nothing Babaloo says is reflective of the McNerney Campaign. Your failure to distinguish the words and attitudes of an anonymous McNerney supporter from the words and attitude of McNerney's campaign is frankly somewhat troll-like.

9:55 AM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt,
I think the point here is that only an avid supporter of a particular Dem candidate is apt to be upset about the
fact the McCloskey will be speaking to the SRVDC. Not being an avid supporter of a particular Dem candidiate does not make one a less strident Democrat.

-Mat

10:19 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Mat,

I don't have a problem with McCloskey speaking per se. I have a problem with a Democratic club encouraging someone whose entire candidacy is predicated on getting Dems to re-register Decline to State. That's actually 90% of the problem I have with what's happening at the SRVDC. I have also seen Peggy Rubin trying to get the Defeat Pombo coalition excited about McCloskey's candidacy -- even while we spent the majority of the meeting discussing improving Dem registration in the district. I know I was not the only one disturbed by this, and I certainly told Babaloo about this, so the problem is bigger than one club meeting. The problem is that your club leadership seems to positively support McCloskey's candidacy. And that (again, due to his persistent and conscious efforts to re-register Dems as DS) has all sorts of negative ancillary effects on the Dem Party in the district.

10:35 AM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous jbmendel said...

I've disagreed with babaloo on both content and style in the past, but I'll give moral support to the general consensus that #3 could have, er, made a better first impression.

Different subject, just a thought here. It seems that just about everyone in this community prefers McCloskey to Pombo. No shit, right? From what you read here, he's practically one of us.

Flip the coin for a second and ask what your first reaction would be to a Democratic candidate who Jerry Falwell liked? You're a free thinker so you'd want to learn more, but you'd start out skeptical. With that in mind, now imagine a conservative voter in the 11th hearing about McCloskey going to the SRVDC and being liked by the bleeding heart liberal sissies on SNTP.

I don't think McCloskey is deluding himself about his chances in June, but if this were a real candidacy, he would need the "base" vote in addition to all the DTS he may get.

In that case, the best thing we could do would be to be very loud about how much we don't like McCloskey. It's a moot point, but I thought it worth mentioning.

10:54 AM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt:

Anon #3 here again. Thx for the apology, it is appreciated. Perhaps my Delay analogy was a bit tough, but Babaloo's "take-no-prisoners" style is at least "DeLay-like" (by analogy with you referring to my post as "troll-like") and is evident not only in the post we are discussing but in darn near everything she writes. It is divisive, it is angry, and in my opinion not something if I were McNerney would I want my supporters doing on my behalf. Either anonymously or not.

You still fail to acknowledge that to WIN an election requires BUILDING AND BRINGING TOGETHER, not creating unnecessary divisions. This is not what I see on this site, and if my pointing it out provokes a strong reaction from you and Babaloo, well why I'm glad to be of service.

If you want to fight the other guy, real progressives do it with the strength of our argument and our passion. Not be ripping people apart. Especially candidates that share the same disdain for Pombo, no matter the party.

Again I am struck by the fact that while both of you requested I engage you in dialog, neither of you have yet to address in any substantive manner the questions I raised.

You maintain an arrogance in telling me "I don't know what I am talking about" when the fact is I do - I just disagree with your interpretation. I have probably worked in more campaigns than you or Babaloo ever will, and let me tell you I have seen more "hollow" progressive victories of the kind you seem to be in a continuing state of denial about all because the progressives and moderates were split up over small if not trivial differences.

The simple fact is that if you want people to come together behind your candidate after a primary victory, you have to treat the other vandidate and his/her supporters with respect. You are obviously too young to understand this most elementary aspect of politics, if not human nature.

How old are you Matt? How old is Babalooo? Why not answer this question for me so that I have this perspective on the thing us old timers call "wisdom?"

You say I am reacting to a division that already exists. Then the wise thing to do is not to exacerbate the division and make it worse for the primary victor, BUT TO BEGIN THE WORK NOW TO BUILD THE BRIDGES TO COME TOGETHER TO DEFEAT POMBO. Again, I fail to undersatnd your "logic," which I can only assume means that you are still too much on the youthful "idealistic" side of life and les focussed on the pragmatism of "winning." Though we have never met, I experience many youngsters like you every day in my work. (Yes, I'm making an assumption here - correct me if I'm wrong).

Finally, it is you sir, who fail to understand that ALL supporters of a candidate reflect on that candidate, whether anionymous or not. Whether officially part of the campaign or not. Babaloo has left a very bad taste for McNerney in my mouth, making me less likelty to send him a follow-up contribution unless and until I hear something definitive from McNermney's campaign that Babaloo has no official role in it.

The simple fact is that the candidate could be the greates t thing in the world, but if his/her supporters are a bunch of angry divisive people out there ripping people to shreds, calling those who disagree fucking idiots, know-nothings, etc etc as I have seen on this blog time and time again - well, I have to tell you my friend that I will GUARANTEE that this greates candidate will lose. But he/she will get that all important "moral victory" right?

Final question Matt: Are you in this to win or lose? If you can't answer that or have difficulty doing so, then its time to rethink what you and Bablaoo are doing. The guy named VPO gets it - you and Baballo need to wake up and smell the coffee.

Not all who disagree are trolls; I note the thoughtful response from the person from the SRVDC who you let post DEFENDING Ms RUBIN, which tells me that I am not alone in seeing the hate and venom of Baballoo as being extremely destructive to waht I presuime is a desire to "Say No to Pombo."

11:13 AM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Anon 3,

I just had a huge response eaten by my computer, so I'm not going to respond for awhile. If you want to e-mail me we can discuss this more. Otherwise, I'm going to let this lie until I am less frustrated about losing my response.

12:32 PM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous nicholas said...

just want to point out that babaloo is not part of the mcnerney campaign....

edj and myself are the only two campaign supporters who post here on a consistent basis....i've seen other supporters post here from time to time (like jpr) but they always identify themselves as mcnerney supporters...

hope that helps...

sos out!!!

4:31 PM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Nicholas,

I don't have time to go into this because I have to leave my house soon, but you're wrong. There are plenty of McNerney supporters who don't identify themselves by name on this blog.

But Nicholas is correct that Babaloo is not in any official way connected with the McNerney Campaign, nor (to my knowledge) does anyone in the McNerney Campaign know who Babaloo is.

4:45 PM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous EDJ said...

For the record:

I work for the McNerney campaign and, although I am certainly curious to know who she is, I don't know Babaloo's actual identity.

EDJ

1:23 AM, April 07, 2006  
Anonymous Vicki said...

I know this thread is a little old, but I wanted to say that I am another McNerney staff person who doesn't know who Babaloo is.

I will say tho, that I read her posts with great interest. I sometimes find her anger at things very helpful in some of the steps I take in Jerry's campaign. She has great ideas that I've taken to heart and it's been an advantage to McNerney's campaign.

I can assure anon #3, that the McNerney campaign is doing everything to remain on the high road. None of us feel any reason to leave it. Jerry is the man who has the expertise and problem solving skills needed to move Congress toward a more productive era. He has a vision for an economy that can grow by keeping jobs in his district. Jobs that can help our environment and provide renewable energy, all of which get us off the foreign oil addiction and keep us safer from terrorism.

It's all connected, and Jerry is the candidate with the vision that can cross party lines and appeal to everyone.

After all, we all just want a decent job, health care a place to live and a little security. Those are issues that transend all parties. Jerry is the candidate that can help fix our country by working towards solving these issue.

I'm Vicki, I work in Jerry's office and I do his scheduling. Feel free to call the office during the day to talk.

7:22 PM, April 07, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assuming anyones still paying attention, its Anon #3 here again for a wrap-up.

First off, thanks to the McNerny people for assuring me that Bababaloo is not in any way a "sanctioned" part of the campaign - either officially or unofficially. Matt: since you know who this person is, it would have been nice for you to say this instead of limiting your denial to one of "official" involvement. That left the "unofficial" but sanctioned operative role (wink, wink) wide open.

Secondly: I will accept Matt's repeated failure to respond to any of the questions or substantive issues I raised as being due to computer problems, but will add this sounds eerily similar to the "dog ate my homework" excuse proffered by many a student. But Matt seriously now: why the hell should I engage you in a private dialog? Isn't the purpose of this exchange the edification of all your readers? If you want me to go to the trouble of dialoging with you, WHY NOT have it be public? What are you afraid of? And wasn't my exchange more about Babaloo's post than yours? Why are you stepping up to the plate here instead of Babaloo? And why is it that you're only willing to do so - privately?!

Thirdly: Babaloo your failure to respond whatsoever to me, despite inviting me to dialog, says mountains about your character and integrity. I am sorry, but this is "coward-like" (I'm trying to respect the decorum of proper word-usage on this site). Now you may even take objection to this proper usage, but the facts speak for themselves. You even failed to answer the very simple question on your age - this would hardly give me a clue as to who you are (frankly I could care less), but would tell me alot about your perspective. Ditto for Matt.

From what I read, many Dems are not satisfied with any of their party's three candidates. So should this nation suffer two more years of Pombo, or should forward thinking Dems - in their mind putting country above party - be damned for inviting a Republican into their midst to discuss creative possibilities THAT ADVANCE THE PROGRESSIVE CAUSE. Now the stench of a "normal" Republican would certainly give me pause, but McClosky is a different bird. Having grown up in the Bay Area, the harshnesss with which Babaloo, Matt, and others reacted to a Dem group inviting McClosky (a progressive if there ever was one) to speak before them seems to me to be among the worst PC nonsense I have ever seen.

It tells me and anyone else whose mind is even half open - and you cannot even begin to refute this - that you are partisans first and progressives second. That is sad, esp when it goes much further than that - tearing down this Peggy Rubin when it seems from the latter poster that this person is a big part of the local Dem club. She obviously gets that its about working hard building coalitions TO WIN, not ripping them apart by hurling shit at everyone but your own favorite candidate. PATHETIC!

I cannot imagine a better recipe for electoral failure, esp when your collective arrogance is such that you call anyone who challenges your perspective names (I'll admit I could have been a bit more diplomatic, but the f word came from you first) and try to deal with their arguments by twisting them into things never said.

Even though none of you have in any substantial fashion - despite repeated requests - addressed the many questions and issues I have raised, I hope you will at least consider them mentally. Please make the goal of this blog beating Pombo, not dividing his many opponents. That is the only task that matters for the district, this nation, and the world. Its that simple.

Namaste.

11:27 AM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Babaloo your failure to respond whatsoever to me, despite inviting me to dialog, says mountains about your character and integrity. I am sorry, but this is "coward-like" (I'm trying to respect the decorum of proper word-usage on this site). Now you may even take objection to this proper usage, but the facts speak for themselves. You even failed to answer the very simple question on your age

Not so. I offered to engage in a “dialogue on the issues.” You have instead engaged in rabid personal attacks and stridently demanded that I answer a series of questions, such as my age, that are completely irrelevant to the issues I raised in my post. Frankly, I am under no obligation to respond to such comments, nor will I.

But what I find interesting is that in the four diatribes you’ve posted, you have never addressed one of the main points of my post, which is that there are a host of other candidates for other offices –- basically our entire State government, which has the greatest impact upon our daily lives as Californians –- whose primary candidacies are being undermined when Democratic leaders encourage Democrats to leave their party for the momentary thrill of voting against Pombo.

Further, you have also failed to address the concerns that I raised relating to Democratic Party infrastructure in the Central Valley, which needs all the help that Democrats can give and then some. Once again, how does encouraging Democrats to leave their party help build the base of the party, the prime directive for Democratic Clubs according to their charters?

Contrary to your assertions above, I have not called you names nor engaged in profanity. If you feel compelled to respond to this comment, I would appreciate the same courtesy.

2:13 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

The point is they are not "leaving their party", they are simply taking a strategic step of going DTS for a short time, then going back to Dem registration after that. How the County Clerk records you is not who you actually are. This is just a bookkeeping thing to be allowed into the R primary. It does not change who you are or even your true party affiliation. It is just a temporary change of label that is easily reversed.

Everyone can still work hard for the Dem party and do all that is needed to build the party. The re-registering is not that big a deal, just a way to get in the R primary. It is free and easy to do, and the registration can easy be switched right back to Dem post-primary.

4:03 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

The distinction between whether one is "leaving" the party or "simply taking a strategic step" is more than just a matter of semantics. You must be a registered Democrat to hold any leadership position within the Democratic Party, and this includes the Democratic Clubs. So while you may think it's "just a bookkeeping thing," the Democratic Party does not take such a benign view of it (and rightfully so, IMHO).

And for the third time I will raise the issue of the myriad other Democratic candidates, some in very close and critically important California races, whose votes would be siphoned away in what appears, at least to me, to be a futile and self-indulgent whim.

Again, if you go back to my original post, I stated that with regard to individuals switching their registrations, every American has the right to register and vote his/her conscience. My only objection was to Democratic Party leaders (the ones who would lose their own leadership roles if THEY re-registered) to be actively encouraging other Democrats to abandon their own party's candidates.

5:29 PM, April 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Babaloo,

Thank you for coming out of the woodwork. Yes, I am the fly in your ointment known as Anon #3.

With all due respect, if you really think that the consequences of having one Dem or another in the CA Secretary of Stae's office, the Controller's office, or any other state ofice for that matter are the same or even in the slightest manner comparable to the difference it would make if we could all come together to knock out Pombo, why there is nothing I can do to help you. Rather than slamming someone like me, Ms Rubin, or other Dems for being "myopic," I would humbly suggest you make an appt with your optomitrist for a new prescription.

I also disagree with you that age is not an issue here, as I suspect your failure to see what matters here reflects your relative youth and inexperience. This is nothing to be ashamed of - some day you will come to realize that the fundamental way you win elections is by BRINGING TOGRETHER, not RIPPING APART. MINIMIZING DIFFERENCES TO BUILD COALITIONS, NOT LOOKING FOR DIFFERENCES TO CREATE UNNECESSARY DIVISIONS. (As I've said before, this is a DeLay-like tactic, an acceptable use of verbiage according to Matt the moderator). I am being blunt here, not mean nor slinging mud. My Momma raised me to be blunt, I'm sorry.

Now I din't go back and re-read all of my earlier posts, but it was the "gentleman" named Matt who first called me "a F&*%ing idiot" then an "idiot" for added emphasis, then twisted what I said so that it was in a form that he could now actually have a shot at refuting it. I don't think I ever said YOU called me a f%&*ing idiot, only Matt, and to be fair to Matt at least he came back and apologized for this for which I said I was grateful and admitted perhaps I was a bit harsh. Or blunt, depending on your perspective. So lets not get bent out of shape for something I did not accuse you of, OK?

So because you won't answere my questions directly, but your comments do provide insights into your thought processes, I am going to conclude:

1. That you think what really matters come California primary day is which of 2 (3?) Dems get the nominaton for Sec Srtate, Governor, and perhaps local dog catcher (?) AND NOT WHETHER POMBO GETS HIS COMEUPPANCE. Again, I am inferring this from your answers - do correct me if I am wrong.

2. You think a progressive revolution/takeover of the CA Dem Party is going to happen in June, and everything is going to work out just swell with McNerny and maybe your other favorite candidates leading a united party into kicking out not only Pombo, but all the other stooges of the DCCC and those other Dem Party hacks. No doubt they will be appointing you to be the new state party chair for your genious, and if you actually do manage to pull this off - even within 5 years - I will personally come and kiss both of your feet. But if you don't, the mega-destroyer named the SS Pombo will continue to roll on.

3. And finally Ms Babaloo, most telling is one of your final comments: "how does encouraging Democrats to leave their party help build the base of the party, the prime directive for Democratic Clubs according to their charters?" I think Mr VPO has addressed that question far more eloquently than I. But thank yoy for saying that getting rid of Pombo is not your primary goal. Admitting this up front - when I asked - would sure have saved us all a great deal of dialog. Now don't get me wrong, as I think this is a wonderful goal. But do you really - honestly - believe you will accomplish this before June? How about by Novemebre? The fact is, you really don't care about winning, your goal is a long term building/restructuring of the Dem Party. AM I RIGHT OR AM I WRONG? But to be fair to you, maybe tyou did admit that this is your goal in your original post: "many progressive activists within the Democratic Party have seen the Congressional race in CD-11 as an opportunity to capitalize on widespread disgust with Richard Pombo." The ONLY way to interpret that statement is that getting rid of Pombo is NOT your primary goal, but "capitalizing on widespread disgust with Pombo" is. I and many others are not interested in capitalizing on disgust with Pombo to achieve some other goal - my goal is to knock this jerk out of office BY THE MOST EXPEDIENT MEANS. Because he is a disater - do you not get this? Why you or Matt couldn't answer this question directly despite repeated requests is anyone's guess, but there it is. In your own words, though I had to go back and read your original post in order to catch it. In retrospect, I applaud your honesty on this matter - seriously. I wish I had caught this before.

Now since I anwered your questions without any profanity, how about answering the rest of mine?

8:03 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger Matt said...

Anon 3,

You seem very comfortable discussing things about which you know very little. You certainly don't understand California politics as demonstrated by your previous two comments. As I said initially, you really don't know what you're talking about. The more you write the more apparent it is.

It's also apparent that you are very satisfied with your understanding of the situation and that nothing I can say will dissuade you.

You think that McCloskey has a shot in Hell of beating Pombo despite the fact that McCloskey himself has admitted that he cannot win. I have looked at the numbers and cannot see how McCloskey would come close to winning. I know, I know, must be my own blindness. Perhaps you can enlighten us about how McCloskey can win? Perhaps you can explain given the voter registration numbers in the district and given past primary participation rates, McCloskey can get the 50% plus 1 he needs to win? Perhaps you can offer an estimate about how many Democratic voters McCloskey would need to re-register as DTS voters in order to come close?

I know it's fun to darkly speculate that Babaloo is a fifteen year old plant of the McNerney Campaign, but I bet you can stifle your imagination long enough to let us know what empirical basis you have for believing that McCloskey can win.

And while you're at it, perhaps you can explain why you think our Secretary of State race is unimportant, or why our Governor doesn't much matter, or why Democrats in Pleasanton shouldn't care about the difference between Bill McCammon and Mary Hiyashi or between Dutra, Klehs, and Corbett?

9:09 PM, April 08, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Rather than slamming someone like me, Ms Rubin, or other Dems for being "myopic," I would humbly suggest you make an appt with your optomitrist [sic] for a new prescription.

Once again, you have attributed words and deeds to me that are not mine. I never “slammed” anyone for being “myopic.”

You asked me the question (or issued an accusation -– it’s kind of hard to tell) as to whether my goal is to get rid of Pombo or to build and strengthen the Democratic Party as if these two are mutually exclusive. Well, I’m sorry; I flat-out reject the notion that doing one precludes doing the other. As a matter of fact, I would advocate the position (as I did in my post) that creating a strong Democratic Party structure is vital if we are ever going to unseat Pombo, Doolittle, or a host of other equally bad Republicans. The two things are synergistic, which is why I object so strongly to attempts by Democratic leaders to fracture Democratic Party unity. And I’m sorry, despite the fact that you claim to be an inside-the-Beltway coalition-building operative, your argument that we can’t beat Republicans by being Democrats, so we should respond by becoming Republicans, is never going to be a way to build a Democratic coalition that can win elections.

And finally, you are dismissive of the “Sec Srtate” race –- do I think it really matters? Since you don’t reside in California, you may think it’s irrelevant, but we have a current Republican Secretary of State, Bruce McPherson, who is quietly and surely trying to move the State toward Diebold electronic machines. This is a race that Democrats MUST win in November to ensure the integrity of our entire voting system, and it is key that we put forth the candidate with the best chance of carrying our message to California’s voters. Otherwise, it won’t matter how many people vote against Pombo.

10:46 PM, April 08, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matt/Babaloo:

Well golly gee wiz - I see how you both work here. Where oh where do I say ANYHTING about McClosky winning? Where oh where do I say anyhting about what his strategy should be or waht his chances are? I am noy paid to be his FT political consultant.

WHAT I DO KNOW is that you win elections by bringing together even UN-NATURAL ALLIES, not by accentuating differences and dividing people up. Despite over 30 comments to Baballo's original post, YOU HAVE REPEATEDLY REFUSED TO ADDRESS THIS SIMPLE ISSUE.

That seems to be both of your primary tactuics on this blog; to twist and distort what people say, unitl you get to some bullcrap that you CAN REFUTE, then you castigate the commenter, call him names etc BASED ON YOUR DISTORTIONS RATHER THAN HIS/HER ORIGINAL ARGUMENT.

Meanwhile, you ignore ANY AND ALL SUBSTANTIVE POINTS of anyone who takes issue with your nonsense and IMMATURITY.

Case in point: Rather than answer - honestly - my repeated queries about your ages, you twist and distort to say that I think you're a 15 year old. Quite frankly, the two of you are so intellectually dishonest, I would have flunked you out of grammar school debating team!

Another case in poitn: I have to belive that any Dem who wins the primary is not going to allow Diebolt to steal your elections, but instead YOU twist and distort and say it matters whether there's a Dem or a Rep there. No argument from me - I agree. But this is not about the general, its about the primaary.

And then you bring in a bunch of obscure names of obscure people to impress me with your deep knowledge of CA politics, and well golly gee wiz, you got me there. (Would my bringing up our local candidates here in MD similarly impress you with my knowledge?) BTW, which two are in the heated race for County dog catcher?

And let me tell you something about one of the few I do know something about, Angelides - he's in the pockets of the big developers almost as much as Pombo. If he represents your great white hope, why maybe both of you can go in to the optomitirst together and get a two-fer discount.

Sorry, I have put a great deal of energy into this blog without getting any of you to address in any substantial way the many SERIOUS issues I have raised NOT ONLY WITH YOUR GOAL, but also with the means by which you are attempting to achieve it.

I will close by going back to Ms Loo's original comment: she admits to wanting to capitalize on the anti-Pombo feeling to try and achieve something that virtually NO DEMO HAS EVER BEEN ABLE TO DO: take over the Party and unite it under a progressive banner. This ain't gonna happen - ever. This is an unachievable goal.

Therefore, the only logical path is the pragmatic one - how do we come together to get rid of Pombo? This blog doesn't even try to address this issue, and you know what? If I were living in your district, I would deeply resent you co-opting the anti-Pombo feeling in a misguided effort to achieve the unachievable. What you are trying to achieve is far less likely than what McClosky is trying to achieve, yet you won't find me demanding to know your roadmap and reaming you for its lack of credibility.

One final word before signing off: If I lived in your district, I would also DEEPLY RESENT being capitalized on by those who call themselves "Progressives", just like I deeply resent being capitaliized on by anyone. Because fighting capitalist pigs is one of the tenets of my political life, which started in the Bay Area in all likelihood before either of you kids were born.

Best of luck in your quixotic campaign, but lets not delude ourselves, OK? And a little honesty and integrity would be a good thing once in a while - its the foundation upon which my progressism rests.

Anon #3 signing off. Maybe for good, as I think I've seen enough of the lack of integrtity here to say why bother. There is useful info here, to be be sure, and great potential, but your fundamental premise is flawed and the two of you are not honest. And both of you have far too much anger to ever build any kind of coalition, EVEN IF YOU HAD THE VISION AND THE WISDOM to understand that this should be your primary goal. Not capitalizing on peoples dislike of Pombo. As I said before, PATHETIC!

5:45 AM, April 09, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

You continue to ascribe words and ideas to me which I have never expressed. I used the word “progressive” once in my main post and not at all in the comments.

[M]any progressive activists within the Democratic Party have seen the Congressional race in CD-11 as an opportunity to capitalize on widespread disgust with Richard Pombo and have dedicated themselves to expanding and solidifying a more unified infrastructure for the party, especially in areas such as San Joaquin County where Democrats have historically been weak.

In re-reading that sentence, I realize that I could have been a little more clear and detailed for the sake of those reading this blog who are unfamiliar with the race and with CD-11. Those who follow the race closely and know the district will have understood what I was saying, but to an outsider, it may have left the wrong impression.

The fact is that up until about 2002, the Democratic Central Committee in San Joaquin County (which accounts for approximately 50% of the votes in the district) was essentially dormant. There were virtually no Democratic Clubs, no outreach to the community, no organized party-building mechanisms, nothing. The Democratic Party in San Joaquin County was looking terminal, and, unsurprisingly, Democratic candidates were failing to be elected. At that point, some very hard-working and spirited Stockton Democrats stepped into leadership positions within the party and dedicated themselves to resuscitating the party in SJC. Previous DCC president Bill Casey and current DCC president David Burr have both done yeoman’s work in creating a party presence in the county. They have been busily chartering Democratic Clubs, building a Democratic base in the region, and trying to win elections. But the Democratic Party in San Joaquin County is still in a nascent state. It needs the help of all Democrats everywhere: progressive, moderate, conservative – you name it.

So yes, many progressive activists within the Democratic Party have seen the Congressional race in CD-11 as an opportunity to capitalize on widespread disgust with Richard Pombo and have dedicated themselves to expanding and solidifying a more unified infrastructure for the party, especially in areas such as San Joaquin County where Democrats have historically been weak.

Now, the “more unified infrastructure” part has been discussed in previous posts with regard to the “Defeat Pombo ‘06” group which has been recently established. Again, because you are clearly unfamiliar with the territory in CD-11, I will reiterate: CD-11 covers a large and diverse geographical area, encompassing parts of four counties. Because the structure of the Democratic Party in California is based almost entirely on County Central Committees, electoral efforts in CD-11 have in the past been fractured affairs, with each County pursuing its own efforts. This year, for the first time ever, the four County Central Committees, along with their chartered clubs from within the district, have formed a unified group so that they can coordinate and work together in the Congressional race. And in this effort, the much more experienced and active DCCs from Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara Counties have undertaken to help the San Joaquin DCC and its chartered clubs to build and organize a stronger and more vibrant Democratic Party presence in the Valley.

So please try to understand this. It’s important. No one is trying to take over anything here. Democrats from all over CD-11 are working together and building coalitions that can not just beat Pombo in ’06 but again in ’08 or ’10 or whenever. And it’s not just Pombo -- we want to elect Democrats to lots and lots of other positions throughout the district (sorry, we don’t have elected dogcatchers in California).

And so when a leader in a chartered Democratic Club within the district decides to support the notion that Democrats don’t really need to stay Democrats and support the party’s rebuilding efforts, that it’s somehow terribly clever to leave the party to “strategically” vote Republican, I see that as massively detrimental to the party’s efforts to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.

10:53 AM, April 09, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Loo,

It was like pulling teeth, but thanks for the explanation. At least on this one issue, you finally responded with a rational argument. Which is not to say that I accept it in its entirety (see below), but at least its rational. Sadly Matt went right back into his "you don't know shit outsider" mode WITHOUT ever coming back with even a semi-intelligent response.

I'm going to cuss here, but not at you (or even Matt): I want the fucking termite known as Pombo EXTERMINATED. I still believe the BEST way, if not the ONLY way, is to BUILD COALITIONS and hope that you will keep this in mind as you move foreward. Esp as you post, because you do reflect on McNerny even if you are anonymous.

Please try to maintain the moral high ground, and REMEMBER not to unnecessarily antagonize with your postings those you may have to work with should your guy come up short. And I'd be willing to bet that McClosky and his people, if you don't piss them off, might even be willing to help your guy McNerny in the general should he come up short against Pombo in the primary, or Filson if he emerges victorious. Politics has always made strange bedfellows, and McClosky is one of the strangest birds EVER to be in politics. Matt in particular - perhaps he's the 15 y.o. one of the two of you - underestimates him at his own risk. They said he never had a chance against Shirley Temple Black either, but he beat her and served in Congress for something like the next 15 years. One of the BEST, MOST PROGRESSIVE, and MOST HONEST Congressmen ever - no one would deny this. I was still in Berkeley when this guy was writing damn near every environmental law this country has, marching with Coretta Scott King (when the Dems were the racist party of the "Solid South"), seeking to end the Vietnam war, calling for Nixon's impeachment - I'd be hard-pressed to name a Dem wwith this kind of record of accomplishment. I am a lifelong Dem and lifelong progressive, yet I am proud to support him. And McNerny too.

The very fact that other loyal Dems like Rubin also like him tells you something about his character, values, and yes, his charisma. I've never met the guy, but any Republican who called for Nixon's impeachemtn AND who worked his ass off for Kerry must be doing something right. You and Matt would probably call him "brave" for these acts - for putting country over party - yet here you are both urging Dems to close ranks and put party over country. (Party loyalty is what DeLay ALWAYS insisted on - surely you haven't forgotten?!) IMO, loyalty is an argument to bring forth when you don't have a logical argument to make.

Using your and Matt's loyalty argument, McClosky should have closed ranks and supported Nixon, Bush, the Vietnam war, etc. Sorry, but like I said while your loyalty argument is at least rational, I still think you're both wrong. I think Rubin sees it McClosky's way, which is my way too. Country comes first, not party loyalty. Perhaps because the older one gets the more one has directly experienced deep disappointment with one's own party. Country comes first for me every time now. It obviously does for McClosky. Probably for Rubin too. Rubin's stance makes perfect sense to me, its the kind of wisdom one acquires with age. I'd be willing to bet she's at least in my age bracket ("mature" as we like to say), if not older (like McClosky).

I wish you, Matt, and others on this blog enlightenment as you move forward. Idealism tempered by wisdom. There is a great deal to be learned from the elders of the tribe, if you insolent young whippersnappers would open your minds to the simple fact that none of waht you are experiencing is "new." Many of us have been there, done that, and have much useful knowledge and insights to share.

For example, for far too many years I have witnessed Dems engage in intraparty pissing matches that leave one group or another angry, and a needlesslly divided party that loses. The progressive revolution was much further along in the 60's (back before you were born in all likelihood) than it is now, and still we had a bitterly divided party. You and Matt aren't likely to achieve this in my remaining lifespan, let alone yours. PRAGMATISM, melded together with WISDOM, and guided by IDEALISM is how to advance the progressive agenda. You and Matt have only the latter, IMO. And that is a losing formula.

Please Matt, LISTEN to this advice and don't tell me I don't know shit. Baballoo, through all these posts I have come to see you as the one with a more open mind. Matt is probably still too testerone-driven, which has always further clouded the judgement of male's in their youth ;)

If I can leave you and Matt with one msg, its to rememebr to bring together - not divide. The former is more challenging and leads to real victories, the latter is far easier but leads to moral victories. Get real about what you want. I know what I want, and it ain't a House infested with termite-scum like Pombo. If McClosky can take this guy out in June, which is not up to me to decide how, well I'm all for it. Even if he temporarily pulls some Dems into his camp. Remember, he is as progressive as they come, and unlike any of the Dems, he already knows his way around Congress. He'll get more done for youu while these inexperienced guys would be trying to learn the ropes. Or while you and Matt are still trying to build a party, which by definition is a long-term process. I don't want to wait that long to take Pombo out. The planet cannot afford it.

Paggy Rubin is not your enemy, nor is Filson, nor is McClosky. They are your natural allies. Cultivate them, and like the VPO guy said, distinguish your candidate by what he stands for and why he's the best guy to beat Pombo. I believe it was Vicky, in an earlier comment in this thread, did precisely that. Kudos to Vicky.

Listen to us old farts once in a while, we might surprise you with what we know. Listen to Peggy Rubin, she may be able to teach you and Matt a thing or two. I see the same pragmatism and wisdom in the VPO guy. Don't just rail at us and tell us we don't know shit, or are fucking idiots (again, I know you didn't do this). In short, don't trust the political judgement of anyone under 30. Try to engage their energy and idealism, but they do not have sufficient experience in the real world to have wisdom. Or to understand pragmatism.

In closing, I want to apologize to you for my sometimes crude language and unnecessarily harshness. You desrved better; hey I never claimed to be perfect. Progressives never are.

Namaste. Its past my bedtime.
Anon #3 (an old crotchety bastard if there ever was one, but still fighting the good fight)

8:32 PM, April 09, 2006  

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